Companies must constantly find ways to trim their overall operating costs, and the fleet industry has a simple, but often overlooked, way to do this: Keeping fleet vehicles running efficiently for as long as safely possible.
Beyond simple maintenance that can help increase MPG, fleet managers can have technicians perform modifications that will reduce fuel loss, extend vehicle life and provide a smoother drive.
Tires and Tire Pressure
Make sure that every fleet vehicle has the ideal tires for its driving conditions. While the costs may be higher up front, getting a good set of all-weather tires increases safety and reduces the overall wear. And bigger tires may add a cosmetic appeal, but just hurt a vehicle’s overall fuel efficiency.
Having the correct tires is also important because they can affect MPG by roughly 10 percent. Proper tire pressure will optimize a vehicle’s fuel efficiency and tire wear, and routinely keeping a watchful eye on tire pressure will help drivers catch any small air leaks.
Plenty of Oil Changes
Overcompensate when it comes to oil changes and invest in superior products like high-capacity filters. Using a synthetic motor oil is ideal because it maintains lubricating properties much longer, which means less friction and wear for the engine.
The immediate costs are nothing compared to the long term savings that a fleet will enjoy.
Add a Fuel Injector Cleaner
A fuel injector cleaner is designed to maintain an intake valves cleanliness and it lubricates the upper cylinders to keep its efficiency.
Remember the Spark Plugs
Check a vehicle’s spark plugs every year! Iridium or platinum plugs should be changed at 60,000 miles and copper plugs after every 7,000 miles.
Monitoring the spark plugs gives insight into how the vehicle is performing. Discolored plugs can help indicate if the engine is running lean or rich. A rich running motor likely means the vehicle is using too much fuel, and a lean motor means there isn’t enough fuel.
Cut Out the Bells and Whistles
Many aftermarket accessories are simply eye candy, and the added weight that accompanies them will make a huge difference in MPG. Removing unnecessary items like bully bars, ladder and headache racks can quickly increase a vehicle’s fuel economy.
But remember to keep vehicle aerodynamics in mind by keeping loads centered and behind the cab so items aren’t caught in the wind.